Bière De Mars | Brewery Ommegang

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Bière De MarsBière De Mars

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ommegang Biere de Mars is a Belgian-style dry hopped amber ale with a bit of magical space dust woven in Brettanomyces bruxellensis, a wild-yeast used in the secondary fermentation. The Brett imparts added tartness, a bit of zing and some farmhouse funkiness.

Biere de Mars reveals a copper-amber body and a frothy white head that builds, clings and stays. Aromas are of malt and grain, clove, fruit and a bit of funk. Flavors are full-bodied with delicate malty sweetness, followed by spicy, peppery yeastiness and Brett-induced funk. Hopping is subtly bitter and aromatic, bumped up a bit by dry hopping. The finish is dry and gently lingering. At 6.5% ABV; it also pairs nicely with spicy foods such as barbecue.

Added by akorsak on 07-17-2006

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Reviews: 274 | Ratings: 405
Photo of wanker
1.67/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Let me start off by saying that Belgians are my favorite style, but I've never had a Biere de Garde or a beer fermented with Brette yeast.

That said, I've got to say that this may be my first drain pour. The predominant smell was strongly metallic. If you've ever been in a machine shop that cut metal you'd know what I meant. The metallic, copper and iron continued into the taste and was the predominant taste to me.

The only good thing I can say about this beer was that the appearance was a pleasant amber.

I may or may not fight through this .750 Ml bottle.


Drain pour. I couldn't take it. Had to cleanse my palette with a Don de Dieu. Life's too short to suffer voluntarily. That's $13 down the drain - literally.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Found this dude in the beer fridge.

A- Pours a golden color with a pretty thin white head. Not too much lacing or retention.

S- Caramel malts, wood, yeast and a bit of funk.

T- Pale malts, yeasty, funk but no sour and a bit of metal.

M- Light in body and high amount of carbonation.

O- No thanks not really digging this one.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
2.65/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a Hennepin tulip. Batch 2, October 2008.

A- first off, the bottle exploded after I removed the cage. Good start. The pour is a cloudy shade of dark orange, with a puffy two finger white head that fades into almost a mousse on top of the beer

S- nice citrus, a little funk. Not overwhelming. Eh

T- I really tastes like nothing. There is some citrus, but it's very, very mild. Slight funk as well. Sigh

M- paper thin

O- disappointing from the word go. This makes me very sad

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, and cardboard aromas. Taste is much the same with cardboard and honey flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earthy bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer that smells and especially tastes very oxidized and old.

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Photo of ccrida
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750ml (batch 2 - Oct 2008) poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip. Ommegang's Bière De Mars us a dull bronze with lazy streamers and a massive off-white head that leaves sheets of foamy lace. WOuld have been a 4.5 expect for the massive chunks of loose sediment that made it impossible to pour the last 1.5 inches of the bottle, and even being careful, getting some in the last glass.

Smell is soft, sweet citrus and tropical fruit, light dusty brett.

Taste is pretty bland. The brett has chewed through everything, without producing much funk, making this taste like tonic water. Swishing it around I can get a touch funk and slight alcohol character. I am not impressed.

Mouthfeel is bone dry, lots of soft carbonation, but the brett gives it an edge on the finish.

Drinkability is on the lower side, in that this basically has no taste and was very expensive. Disappointed to say the least, a definite miss by my book for Ommegang.

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Photo of Pencible
2.88/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured a hazy light copper with lots of chunky sediment and fluffy white head. It smelled like lemon hops and sour wild yeast and sea salt, with juniper and metallic copper and overripe oranges, and a bit of pine. It tasted like lemon and orange hops, with sour wild yeast and sea salt, and some metallic copper hops. It was slightly thick with lots of carbonation, and had a sour and bitter aftertaste. Overall this was good but not as unique or delicious as I was hoping. It had decent body but was overly carbonated, and the flavor wasn't great. Southampton's bière de garde was totally different and much preferred to this. Ommegang is a great brewery, but this beer lacked malt for balance and depth. Perhaps aging would help this?

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
2.9/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ommegang Biere De Mars 6.5% American Wild Ale

A: Nice orange hues, with some amber tones at the edges, thick huge head that poured 3 fingers with little agitation, as all the Ommegang labels so irritatingly instruct

S: You get the wet dog, bandaid plastic sort of notes, with an underlying chardonnay dryness, some crisp granny smith apple

T: At first you get a decent sweetness, with some brett funk that has that vaporous quality of funk and plastic, it subsides into a very mild tartness. the tart hardly registers and it zips off into obscurity very quickly. If you approach this with dreams of temptation and consecration in your head, curb your desires at the door, the alternative brett additions were either done as an afterthought, or in excess.

M: The mouthfeel is thin and not exceptionally overbearing, this is this beer's best quality. Which is like having a really solid rhythm guitarist, you dont want support categories taking center stage. I fear this beer suffers from Petit Obscuritis where the anticipation from the bottle makes you expect more than can ever be delivered. It isn't bad, per se, but it is barely a sour. It is more an amber than anything else, to a non-beer drinker you would have to specifically note what makes it different. Some of the brett sweetness comes off as some kind of an adjunct, which is disheartening for the style

Narrative: "His resume was just so impressive, quadlingual, volunteer in Burma, summa cum laude from Vassar..." "Yeah summa cum garbage, he has the worst people skills I have ever seen, how is he going to sell anything? He's just so...abrasive." It wasn't Dan Mikelson's demeanor that was offputting, in fact he was attractive to the untrained person. He would even seem exotic and interesting, until he opened his mouth and began talking about Jimmy Johnson's points in the Nextel cup. Most customers would sigh and move lithely from the digital camera section until he followed them intentionally into the digital printers section, and continue to harangue them with tales of last years bocce ball tournament. "Look at that, that canadian couple just requested an item outright and he convinced them that they werent going to use it to its full potential, I dont care how attractive he is, you gotta fire this guy." "But sir...think about if someone get's hurt his resume says he is a registered RN and" "I dont care, his resume is a lie, he is a jerk and I want him OUT OF MY OFFICE DEPOT?! YOU HEAR ME?!"

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Photo of arboristfish
2.93/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color of this beer is a clear copper color, with a fizzy white head. The smell is interesting. Smell hints of spicy malt and fruity yeast. The taste is a little different. I notice they do use bretto in their beer. For me the sweet taste that should be there is quickly mellowed out by a slight sourness. Overall the body of the beer is a medium light, with a slighty fizzy carbonation. It is drinkable even though the flavor is bland.

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Photo of beergod1
2.97/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well....I do love me some Ommegang. But seeing the ratings on here, I must have had a bad bottle. It poured a Hazy amber with a large diminishing beige head. Floral, slightly funky aroma, some apple, and tons of yeast. The bottle and huge flakes floating around, not "Particulates" or " specs". I smell more Brett than I taste it, it tastes a little like Watered down Vinegar. My friend that split this bottle with me didn't seem to think it was as bad as I did, but he also said he wouldn't buy it again. Maybe another day, and another rating?

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Photo of Infamous7100
3.01/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'll say this up front, I'm not a huge fan of the "funk" beers, so read this review with that in mind.
-Poured a redish/amber color with about a one finger head. Some sediment escaped and came to a rest at the bottom of my glass. Nice look.
-The smell is what got me. There is an uncanny similarity between the smell of this beer and the smell of the Scrubbing Bubbles toilet bowl drop ins. I am not kidding. Sweet malts, a whole lot of citrus and a bit of alcohol and blend together for a cacaphony of olfactory confusion.
-Just a little too much going on for me. A bit hoppy at one moment, sweet the next, then the tartness of fruit, then the crisp, dry finish. I'm enjoying the taste one second and find my mouth cloying the next.
-Funny thing is, after a few swigs, you get used to it. The funk plays well with the malty sweetness and the tartness of the fruit hides the alcohol quite well, yielding a complex, highly drinkable brew.
I love the Ommegang Brewery and their dedication to bringing high quality Belgian style beers here to the states, so I'm glad I tried this. Give it a shot, but I'll stick to the 3 Philos!

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Photo of jnn4v
3.01/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Hazy, chock-full-o sediment. Honestly, it's a bit revolting to me. But I know that the overall color (amber) and texture (lots of fine carbonation) appear to be fine, so I'll just slightly rate it below average.

S: Metallic, fruit, flowers. Maybe a hint of clove? Minor yeast scent. Juniper?

T: Bland is the first term that jumps to mind. Upon closer inspection, lemon, some bitterness, some clove. Maybe a bit of copper. Not much in the way of malt or sweetness to back this. Seems a bit unbalanced to me.

M: Fuzzy, thin and overall something that seems fitting for the genre but not particularly for my tastes.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.02/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The beer was poured from the bottle into a fluted glass. Visually, the beer was a straw yellow color with a bubbley white head. The mild apple aroma was pleasant, though it did not overwhelm the senses. Upon the first taste, a bubbley sour apple flavor was noted. The flavor was mild and faded quickly. It reminded be of a flavored mineral water because of the vanishing fruit flavor. Overwhelmingly potent carbonation helped to sweep away much of the flavor. Because the flavor was mild to begin with, there is virtually no aftertaste. After drinking a few sips, the carbonation begins to build in the chest, giving the unfortunate urge to belch like a middle school student. With a more modest level of carbonation, this beer could have been more enjoyable.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.07/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nothing too special in the looks department. It has a short, fizzy head that burns away quickly. The color is a vaguely cloudy amber yellow.

Its very funky and quite nice. My nose isn't picking up anything that makes me think sour, but this is a Brett beer so the target is all funk. Lots of dry, woody, yeasty Brettiness. Farmhouse in the summer kinda stuff. There is also a strong aroma of cat piss or some sort of ammonia-heavy urine.

There in indeed a touch of tartness, which came almost as a surprise. Its a faint, quick shot of lemon, very far from full puckering. The dominate flavors are funky ones. Lots of wet hay and water logged wood.

Pretty dry and gritty with an overwhelmingly prickly carbonation. Its sharp to the point of being painful.

Quite meh. Heavy Bretted beers aren't usually anything amazing to me anyway.

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Photo of schwaeh
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #3 November 2008 bottle

A: Pours a murky, hazy, darker orange. Plenty of carbonation floating up and dancing around on top.

S: Huge brett smell which drowns out a lot of other subtleties that might be in there. There is a slight past-prime fruit smell that reminds me of a certain flavor or baby food.

T: Again with the rotten fruit. Kind of an off-citrus flavor with some slight hints of grapefruit, banana, lemon, and squash. Plenty of horse blanket funk in the middle of the taste. Tastes like licking the back of plastic band aid after hand-squeezing citrus. The finish is sweet and funky with a little tingle from the carbonation.

M: Medium bodied with a full juicy mouthfeel. The high carbonation dances around in your mouth.

O: I'm glad I tried this one but I won't be mowing people down to grab another bottle. This is my first biere de garde with brett used so I wasn't sure what part it would play; The brett really takes the lead role in this beer.

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Photo of beermanbrian
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Caged 750ml picked up on a recent trip to Cooperstown.

Nice bronze color with a big frothy white head. Drops to a nice cap. Lacing a little lacking.

Smell a little fruity with some muskyness. Kind of subdued. First taste was a burst of fruityness and gave me a champaigne kind of feel. After a few sips it becomes somewhat bland. A little fruityness and some sourness but the taste is subdued. Mouth is initially very bubbly but the carbonation drops off quickly. Overall this one is somewhat of a disapointment. Nothing bad or off about it but it just has no wow effect.

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Photo of harrymel
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch #2: bottled October 2008
Yeast: Brettanomyces

I bought this beer with the intention of better helping me understand Brettanomyces. Here we go:

A: KAPOW! Cork shot out of this bottle with anger and vengeance! I immediately looked to the bottle with anticipation of gush, gush, gush!!!...Nothing. huh. Anyway, pours a golden ale with obvious chill haze. Three finger peanut head dissipates over a few minutes to a single finger which will hang out for the duration. Thick lacing. Good looker.

S: Yum! Tart, funky nose with some really appealing caramel malt backgrounds. If this is exemplary of Brett, now I know. For some reason this reminds me of "it's alright" by Mikkeller.

T: Not tart. Nose does not fall into here. I'm starting to believe Brett offers the nose, but not the palate tart I seek. simple, pale malt backbone with metallic tones. Very hollow mid palate - almost watery.

M: Light body and high carbonation. The carbonation dies quickly in the mouth and falls down quickly in a hollow fashion. Very complex mouthfeel.

O: I think this beer was well crafted, and I think it solidifies my distaste for solely Brett beers. I love sours, but this beer isn't my cup of tea.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Batch #1 Nov. 2008 750 ml. caged cork bottle poured into stemless balloon wine glass.

A--Beautiful reddish caramel body with loose fizzy cola-colored one finger head that died quickly without lace. Careful pour really brought out the radiance and picture-perfect for the style hues in the body.

S--Medicinal, mostly spicy with some herbal qualities. I got a lot of clove, which was weird and not what I expected. The spice is almost incense-like, which to me is more reminiscent of a weizenbock than a BDG. Some icky astringent rubbing alcohol in there that doesn't belong, which is almost masked by slight hay and marmalade (English hops?). Where's the funk? Where's the noise?

T--See above questions. Meh. This is more clove and cinnamon, more winter and fruitcake than spring and fiddleheads. Reminds me of Thiriez's Biere De Noel, itself a weird beer for its respective season, but that's another story for another day. The message here is more medicine by way of spice, some cardamom/clove/cinnamon thing going on, as well as some sweet/tangy orange and lemon notes. Dry hopping is present on the back end of the flavor profile in a really nice way--soft but assertive enough to tug out some malt notes, which are in the main sorely lacking. The damp earth and yeast are nearly absent from this beer.

M&D--Mouthfeel=yuck. Watery, thin with waaay too much carbonation for this guy. Save the champagne stuff for lagers and maybe saisons. Drinkability? At 12 bucks a 750 for an average at best concoction? Doubtful.

I really wanted to like this beer, as I love the brewery. I am, however, starting to wonder if I wasn't overly impressed with Ommegang early on because I hadn't sampled enough other beers at the time. For a Biere de Garde that's American or, hell, from New York, go with Southampton. Any of theirs beats this sucker by about three lengths.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle sampled on 09/26/08 at Night of the Funk. Pours a light brown/orange with a small white head. Aroma is sweet with some tomato and chowder notes. Flavor of lots of honey and very sweet malt. I didn't get any sourness or funkiness from the brett. This was not as good as I would expect from the #1 rated biere de garde. Meh.
6/4/6/4/14 (3.4/5)

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Photo of BDLbrewster
3.22/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a wonderful hue of orange, very bight with tons of visible carbonation. Large sticky white head that is taking forever to recede.

The smell is that of a nice, rich farmhouse ale. Earthy grains, sweet bready yeast, and fruity esters. The tiny amount of funk I do pick up is very reserved and buried. This brew smells great.

The taste does not run parallel to the smell at all. Nothing is popping out here, I was expecting a little more richness but what I got was small hint of bready malt and slightly spicy hops followed by a muted, musty funk that finishes fairly dry. As the brew warms the goodness starts to emerge, deeper sugary malt flavors and banana become more evident, the brett works well to cover any alcohol taste.

This brew came up short here, very thin and watery with maybe a bit too much carbonation left me feeling like I was drinking a bottle of perrier.

Another solid brew from a great brewery, easy to drink fair representation of the style, but a shade underwhelming for me.

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Photo of bum732
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden amber, decent bubbly head that dissipates. Smells of bready yeast, clove, some funk, earthy. Tastes pretty much how it smells, except for the funk part, very little funk detected. Decent belgian ale taste, finishes very neutral and clean. Has an almost champagne crispness to it.

Pretty disappointing to be honest, i thought there was supposed to be Brett and some funk in this. Not that my palate could detect. Overall, a very mediocre beer, very unlike Ommegang.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch #2, October 2008, so it's a bit over 2yrs old at this point. 750mL corked & crowned bottle. I got it in July 2010 at Green Mountain Boys Discount Beverages, Rutland VT, for $12.49.

Served refrigerator-chilled in a similarly chilled tulip, yes a bit colder than the recommended 50F, but I figure I'll start low and it'll be at least 60F before it's gone and that'll give the widest experience. Paired with slow-cooked pork loin in cranberry chutney and caramelized onions.

A: Big billowy fluffy ivory-colored head, 3" in height. In a couple minutes it settles from within to a 1/4" cake, then eventually to a thin whispy layer. Minimal lace at first, then becoming more generous as it warms.

S: Some warm ginger spice, bright cherry/ berry esters, and an earthy blend of yeast and brett funk. Semi-sweet. Overall not too much unlike raspberry ginger ale. Smell stays mostly the same through the session. The yeast/ brett funk mostly fades away. I do notice a bit of floral character, but it could've been there before and I didn't make note of it.

T/M: In the mouth it is tart and dry, thin and fizzy, watery, not very flavorful... though it is still cold. The carbo is heavy in a thin way, very fine bubbles, kinda typical for Ommegang.

As it warms, the fruity stuff comes out a bit and softens up, the tartness looses its edge. The yeast/ brett funk dissipates significantly. But the renaissance I was hoping for didn't come, still pretty flat and watery on the taste. :/

D: The soft carbo and lack of body ensures this goes down quick and easy.

As much as I want to like this, and to justify the >$12 I spent on it, in all honesty I have to be quite disappointed. Yes there's a lot to be said for subtle quaffable brews, but I wanted more than that out of this. I wanted something unique to ponder and explore rather than something to chug, and in that light this largely fell flat.

If I was to rate this on a cost-benefit basis it would fare much much worse (D?). Spend your money elsewhere.

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Photo of spokeydonkey
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured into a wine glass. Copper with a white head that quickly receded. The beer was cloudy with debris floating in it.

S - Smelled very fruity and spicy, with with a hint of brett funkyness.

T - Malty and fruity up front, followed up by spicy/peppery notes and some hop bitterness. Faintly detectable brett funkyness in the background.

M - Very light body to this beer. Not much to chew on.

D - There's a bit too much going on here for the beer to be really enjoyable.

Overall: I much prefer their Ommegeddon ale which brings the brettanomyces character to the front. There are interesting characteristics in this beer, but they don't quite meld, and the brett character, which is advertised on the bottle, is very faint.

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Photo of david18
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was less impressed with the bottle version of this than i was originally by the draft version. Not as sour as I remember it being. The color, as with the draft, was darker than I expected. Overall a better than average beer from a brewery that's much better than that. At $15 a bottle, a little disappointing.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger cream head that fades slowly, leaving a good lace. Ugly cloudy, amber color with a ton of suspended yeast. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Yeast nose. Flavor is dominated by the yeast, some citrus. Who said this was a Belgian amber?? Pricey at $13.20 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of Spider889
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared at the second Central Ohio Beer Tasting. I want to say this was a Keffa contribution but I can't remember it has been so long now.

Pours a cloudy copper orange color. The head isn't much to appreciate, though it does at least produce some foam. Very vigorous yet fine carbonation.

Smells nice and funky at first with notes of wet barnyard and orange peel, but over time I seemed to only really be detecting brettanomyces. I like a good brett infused beer as much as the next guy, but it's a damaging yeast when used haphazardly.

Tasted a little hot, though I imagine it was moreso the carbonation and brett aggravating my throat. Crisp carbonation, though it did get detracting over time. Mild fruit flavors give way to a dusty funk as it warmed.

As for mouthfeel, there was simply way too much carbonation. It was biting and painful at times.

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Bière De Mars from Brewery Ommegang
3.86 out of 5 based on 405 ratings.
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